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August 19, 2016   |   Diesel Technology Forum

Policy Insider

America's Children Go Back to School ... Made Safer and More Reliable on Clean Diesel School Buses

The modern yellow school bus powered by today’s diesel engine is the right choice for student transportation — and it will continue to be as federal clean air rules tighten.


It’s back to school for the nation’s kids, and with school bells about to ring, our attention turns to assuring that kids get to school in the most safe and reliable means possible - the familiar yellow school bus.  Approximately 480,000 school buses are gearing up to transport more than 25 million students each day, travelling more than 5.7 billion miles each year.  The majority of these buses are powered by diesel engines because of their reliability, durability and safety. Thanks to diesel-powered school buses, millions of children will have a safe, reliable, energy-efficient, and environmentally sound trip back to school this fall.

Today’s new school buses are more high-tech than ever with on-board cameras, advanced safety features like warning systems and enhanced driver visibility. The modern yellow school bus is powered by the new generation of clean diesel with near zero emissions and school districts operating newer buses are noticing some of the latest near-zero emissions engines are also deployed with fuel savings capabilities that help save in fuel costs. School buses also keep cars off the road, decreasing both traffic congestion and fuel emissions. Consider that it takes 60 new clean diesel school buses to equal the emissions of just a single bus that is 15 years old. Each school bus route also takes approximately 36 cars off the road!

But not every school district can afford new buses, so funding is available through the Diesel Emission Reduction Program to help replace school buses that have diesel engines of model year 2006 or older. Engines manufactured beginning in 2007 must be deployed with advanced technologies that meet the U.S. EPA's first clean diesel emission requirement. School buses are amazingly resilient and built to last and with proper maintenance, fleets can seemingly last forever. For existing buses, cost-effective clean diesel retrofit technology is also helping school transportation officials cut emissions.

The modern yellow school bus powered by today’s diesel engine is the right choice for student transportation — and it will continue to be as federal clean air rules tighten. The most advanced clean and low emissions diesel technology, options for upgrading existing engines and the ability to use high-quality biodiesel fuels all assure that diesel technology will continue to be the technology of choice to make school transportation safe and reliable for decades to come.   



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Ezra Finkin
Director, Policy
efinkin@dieselforum.org
301-668-7230

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